China is known as the factory of the world since most businesses choose to have their products made there because labor costs are lower there due to the country’s large labor force.
Even many small businesses import their products from China and sell them on various e-commerce websites. They typically use a particular sourcing agent to find suppliers on their behalf.
On the other hand, it can be challenging to find a sourcing agent in China, especially at beginning. You should consider a number of factors before making a choice, such as the agent’s experience, the area of specialization, language abilities, services, and others.
Hiring any internet sourcing companies or agents should not be rushed in order to avoid problems in the future.
Finding your potential Chinese supplier using an online search while working remotely on Global Sources or Alibaba is not a good enough method.
You must dedicate at least 1 to 3 hours every day to managing and sourcing your suppliers, and you must do this for each one separately.
Finding new vendors who can create your goods at the desired pricing and quality standards will take up the majority of your time.
developing specific new items/styles with the assistance of these suppliers
ongoing management must keep in touch with your supplier on a regular basis to discuss follow-up, quality assurance, shipments, and any emergencies that may arise.
If you or your team are unable to complete all of these tasks, you should think about employing a specific third-party sourcing agent to assist you in China.
How do I pick a Chinese sourcing company?
With each form of service, there may be a select few dependable ones and a few less dependable service providers.
1. Request recommendations or testimonials
Can he provide testimonials or referrals from satisfied customers who use his services and buy products similar to your own? Make sure you contact two of them and ask for confirmation.
2. Does he have product expertise in which you are interested?
Choose a sourcing agent who is fully knowledgeable about the goods you are interested in at all times. It is a benefit if the employee has prior experience working with businesses that produce the identical goods that you are seeking for.
You can also inquire as to his ability to oversee the production’s quality control both before and after.
Additionally, find out whether he can arrange for a third party to inspect your product before shipping.
3. Capability to communicate
Verify his proficiency in English writing and speaking. Make sure that everyone on his crew is able to speak English well.
4. A reputable sourcing firm ought to be based in the nation where you intend to make your purchases.
If you work with a sourcing company in China, you may easily audit a large database of well chosen factories.
You must exercise caution while choosing your sourcing firm. Check their registration and eligibility to do business in China. Never be reluctant to ask for official documents.
It is advised to work with a service provider who has more than six years of experience. A capable sourcing company is one that is knowledgeable about Chinese business practices, their shortcomings, and the opportunities that China offers. Nothing is innate; everything is learned through experience.
Do not be scared to inquire about your partners’ full profiles if the agent is a local to your area and not from China. Are they recent immigrants or have they lived in China for ten years?
5. Begin modestly with a new source.
Don’t trust an unproven supplier that your sourcing agent has suggested with a significant payment, and don’t expect on your order to arrive on time from them. It is advisable to establish a letter of credit for the initial order and add three extra weeks to the projected delivery date.
If an order is not processed correctly, immediately switch suppliers. Increase the order size gradually and frequently if you are satisfied. You can evaluate the skills of your sourcing agent with this small test order.
6. A reputable sourcing firm offers substitute suppliers.
Any sourcing company that is adept at locating particular providers can always meet your needs. Ask your suppliers, if you already have a few, to show you some interesting factories that only they can find because of their relationships and knowledge.
7. Chinese supplier management and adherence to quality requirements
A competent sourcing company expertly combines domestic and foreign labor. Because they are familiar with foreign quality standards, foreigners can haggle and keep good ties with Chinese suppliers.
Local is synonymous with local. For instance, a supplier in Canton requires Cantonese speakers, whereas in Shanghai, a Shanghainese person would be more appropriate for same position.
8. A reputable sourcing firm bargains on your behalf
Don’t pay the entire order amount up front; let a sourcing company negotiate the most favorable terms on your behalf. Usually, it ranges from 30 to 50% at the time of the order to 50 to 70% shortly before the container is filled.
A difficulty usually arises if the company requests complete payment before beginning production.
9. Adherence to production guidelines
Always get samples to ensure the product will meet your quality standards before starting production. A trustworthy sourcing company will ask for your permission. Additionally, documentation and pictures attesting to all the quality controls must be included in each quality report.
10. Bargain the cost
Once you’ve picked your choice, you should try negotiating the price. Find out if they offer discounts and whether their prices go down with each order.
After the agent has laid out their terms, carefully weigh all the data before making a decision.
11. Keep a record of everything you agreed upon.
The specifics that you and the sourcing agency agree upon should always be documented. When future problems arise, such as production snags or shipments that are delayed, this will be your go-to resource.
The agreement will also protect you against fraud if something goes wrong later on.
We hope this article has given you plenty to think about and given you important information so you can identify a potential sourcing agent in China with ease.